The Tyranny of Urban Land Corruption in Zimbabwe

Source: 16 September 2020Democracy, Local Government

The focus on urban land corruption appears centred on Harare with all the high drama on arrests of top officials in Council and in law enforcement. I would want to share with your readers similar shenanigans in Mutare. I bought a stand in one of the suburbs as far back as the early 2000s. I then struggled to build on it and later on moved out of the country. I tried back then to pay all council obligations including getting my building plans approved.

After living out of Zimbabwe for a while, I then came back to try and build on my stand. To my surprise, I found a house completely built with a coterie of tenants. I found out that a ZRP (traffic) officer had been sold my stand by City of Mutare officials. Everything about this transaction was pure criminality by both the city officials and the buyer. Simply, the property in question did not belong to the City of Mutare. To add insult to injury, they illegally went to open duplicate utility services accounts using my account credentials.

After years of banging on the doors of City authorities, attempts are being made to address this issue but I am totally shocked at how Zimbabweans no longer value property rights. Zimbabweans are shamelessly breaking the law with an attitude that it will be treated as a ‘double allocation’ so you will be allocated another stand. ‘Inotambika’ (‘it happens’). I am shocked that in my case such criminality was perpetrated by a police officer.

I am very angry with this fraudulent behavior because buying stands has always been an expensive undertaking by any family. To get officials recklessly playing poker with our lives is an absolute outrage. I am writing this note so that we continue to talk about the cost of corruption in our individual lives. We must continue sharing our stories to expose the rot in our institutions. Those profiting from this corruption must be held to account whether now or in the future.

Source: RAN, via WhatsApp